An Indian-American couple has donated $100,000 to a top American university to support graduate students studying Sikh and Punjabi culture there. The endowment by Harkeerat and Deepta Dhillon, to University of California, Riverside, will help attract graduate students with an interest in Sikh and Punjabi culture, and support fieldwork on Sikh communities in the United States, the university said in a statement.
“This gift is a testament to their commitment to higher education, their passion for the arts and humanities, and their desire to expand the knowledge base about Sikh and Punjabi culture,” said Milagros Peña, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
The Harkeerat and Deepta Dhillon Endowed Research Award for Sikh and Punjabi Studies in the Arts and Humanities will provide much-needed support for dissertation research and writing on arts and humanities topics that relate to Sikh and Punjabi culture, said Pashaura Singh, professor and Jasbir Singh Saini Endowed Chair of Sikh and Punjabi Studies, and chair of the Department of Religious Studies.
Dhillon, a prominent Riverside orthopaedic and hand surgeon, had earlier helped raise funds needed to launch the endowed chair in Sikh Studies in 2008. “We believe that establishing this award will enhance the belief that this is an educational institution that recognises diversity and teaches diversity,” he said.